Why BNI changed name to National Intelligence Bureau (NIB)
Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has changed its name to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
The change in name is in line with Section 12 of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020 (ACT 1030).
This was contained in a press statement issued by the Director-General of the Bureau.
“The Bureau of National Investigation wishes to inform the general public that, per section 12 of the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 2020 (ACT 1030), the Bureau is now named the National Intelligence Bureau with immediate effect,” the statement read.
The name change signifies that the investigative wing of the Bureau will be no more a function.
In August this year, a report of the Committee on Defence and Interior on the Security and Intelligence Agencies Bill, 2020 was laid in parliament for consideration.
The bill which has now been passed will lead to the establishment of regional and district security councils and to specify the agencies responsible for the State.
Additionally, the Bill seeks to repeal the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act 526) to establish the required national security architecture to address emerging national security challenges, taking cognizance of some significant matters not catered for in Act 526.
Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security who moved the motion for the second reading of the Bill, observed that the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, 1996 (Act 526) has been in existence for over 24 years.
He, however, stated that the Bill in its current form, Act 526 did not adequately reflect the security architecture of the country, and that created the need to restructure the national security architecture to adequately respond to emerging national security challenges and to adequately cater for national security policy direction.
He said in view of the national security architecture, the current functions of the intelligence agencies and the membership and functions of the regional and district security councils were woefully inadequate.
He said the lines of reporting between the intelligence agencies, the national security architecture and other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) necessitated a holistic review to ensure clear channels of reporting. The required changes to Act 526 necessitated a repeal of Act 526 for a new and comprehensive legislation.
The National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) is the internal intelligence agency of Ghana. The NIB is an integral part of the National Security Council which oversees matters of the counterintelligence and internal security of Ghana.
The NIB has investigative jurisdiction to arrest or detain and interrogate over a wide range of criminal offenses.
Among the duties of the NIB are dealing with organized crime and financial crime, espionage, sabotage, terrorism, hijacking, piracy, drug trafficking, and providing intelligence to counter threats to Ghana’s national security.
The NIB also performs other functions as may be directed by the President, or the Council.